Light Bulb Types: A Guide to Everything You Need To Know

12 Jan 2019

Light Bulb Types

Lighting the room well has a bit of an art to it and it all starts with - you guessed it – lightbulbs. Gone are the days of simply picking the wattage of your bulb and adding multiple to your basket as the market is flooded with different options to suit different interior’s needs. Hoppy have created a guide to the types of lightbulbs available alongside some simple tips for lighting your home with style. 

Mood Setting

If you’ve ever walked into a room and felt an instant warmth or flicked the lights on only to flinch at their brightness, then you already know just how important picking the right light is. Light in the home is all about combining what looks good with how useful it is, without compromises.

There are four main colours when it comes to light bulbs types and they all create quite distinct moods, so read the box carefully and consider the room you’re buying a bulb for.

  • Soft white: this colour is universally popular, casting a soft yellowish hue, and is ideal for bedrooms, living rooms, or rooms filed with dark woods.
  • Warm white: this light has a little bit of yellow but leans more towards white; it’s often used in workspaces, kitchens, and bathrooms.
  • Bright white: starkest of all the colours, containing white and blue ranges, it tends to suit bathrooms and kitchens that are filled with white and/or chrome fixtures.
  • Daylight: this blue range light is perfect for reading.

Types of Light Bulbs

Learn about the most common types of lightbulbs you’re likely to encounter.

Halogen bulbs: the filament in halogen bulbs is heated to the point of glowing, which is what creates the light. These are soon to become obsolete in the UK.

  • On average they last about a year
  • Can be used with a dimmer switch
  • Mercury free

CFL or fluorescent bulbs: fluorescent bulbs, or tubes, are filled with mercury vapor that in turn emits UV light when electricity is applied. The bulbs or tubes have an internal coating of phosphorous that turns the UV rays into visible light. These bulbs tend to be quite energy efficient.

  • Can only work with a ballast
  • 10-year lifetime use
  • Can take a little while to warm up when switched on

LED bulbs: these use very little energy and have been hailed as the future of home lighting. Light is produced when a semi-conductor that emits light energy meets an electrical current that’s passed through it.

  • Very energy efficient
  • Last for 25 years
  • Give out light near instantly

Incandescent bulbs: once the most common type of bulb that could be found in every home, this is the basic bulb type. They were deemed to be inefficient and have now been phased out.

HID bulbs: or High-Intensity Discharge bulbs, are usually used in larger and commercial spaces like warehouses and even streetlights. They are filled with mercury or sodium vapor that conducts electricity, producing light.

Bulb Shapes and Bases

 We’ve all bought a replacement lightbulb only to discover once home that the base doesn’t match the light. That’s because lightbulbs are available in quite a wide variety of shapes and bases so it’s always a good idea to make a note of the type you need before you start shopping.

Common types of base bulbs:

  • Screw base, also known as Edison
  • Fluorescent pin base
  • Twist and lock base
  • Bi pin base
  • Bayonet base

Hoppy hack: why not take a picture of your light, making a note directly the photo of the lightbulb specification, ensuring you never bring home the wrong lightbulb again!

Additional Facts to Know: Lumens and Watts

Lumens and watts are worth knowing a bit about as they will help you determine the right brightness and energy expenditure of the lightbulbs on your home.

Watts: this is the amount of energy a lightbulb uses so the lower the number of watts, typically expressed as a number followed by ‘W’, the lower your electricity bill. LED bulbs have a lower wattage output than incandescent lights but emit the same amount of light, so they’re considered the more purse- and environmentally-friendly option.

Wattage Breakdown

It can be confusing to know the correct wattage to choose for your home - below is a simple chart you a reference whenever you need.

LED

Halogen

CFL

14-16 watt

72 watts

23 watts

12-13 watt

53 watts

20 watts

8-9 watt

43 watts

15 watts

Lumens: this is the amount of light that a lightbulb emits. More lumens translate to more light and fewer lumens obviously means dimmer light. A typical household lightbulb will emit anywhere between 300 to 1000 lumens. The lumen is a standard measure of brightness and doesn’t vary between lightbulbs.

Lighting Innovations

With technology developing all the time, it’s no wonder that the humble lightbulb is undergoing a bit of a makeover to increase efficiency, practicality, and design.

Voice-enabled lightbulbs have become more popular as more homes add digital home assistants to their daily lives. It’s now possible to switch lights on, off, or partially dim them with a simple voice command.

Those without a digital voice assistant can still take advantage of new lightbulb technology with the use of a smartphone. By purchasing a specialist WI-FI enabled lightbulb you’ll be able to set a timer, dim lights, change colours, and more. The cost of these is a little high compared to regular lightbulbs but the number of uses is so varied that it can be very good value for the right household. Some newer models of LED bulbs even have inbuilt WI-FI enhancers that can give your home’s wireless a bit of a boost.

With a WI-FI enabled lightbulb, you have full remote control of your home lights. Why is this a benefit? Well, going away will now come with less worry since you’ll be able to switch the lights on in your home to indicate that you’re ‘in’ or just set a handy timer to do it all for you.

Do you need more help with Home Management? Let Hoppy do the work for you today.

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